Men who saved teenager shrug off hero status

Nearly three months ago, three men saved a 14-year-old girl’s life after she was brutally attacked in a Diamond Heights bakery by a man who had been released from San Quentin State Prison the day before.

Today, she calls them the Three Musketeers.

At least one of the three — Dr. Sang-ick Chang, the interim CEO of the San Mateo County Medical Center; Kermit Kubitz, an attorney with Pacific Gas and Electric Co.; and Jonas Svallin, who has been overseas and could not be reached for comment — just shrugs off the title of hero. To Dr. Chang, they were just a random group of men who crossed paths at Creighton’s Bakery on May 19.

“What I did was just what doctors do,” Dr. Chang said. “The other two were heroic in that they put themselves in extreme danger to protect the girl and society.”

The three men will be honored by the San Francisco Police Department tonight at the Police Commission meeting at 5:30 p.m. in City Hall, Room 400.

The extreme danger came from Scott Thomas, 26, who had been released from San Quentin State Prison on May 18, police said. The next day, Thomas allegedly walked into the bakery at 673 Portola Drive and repeatedly stabbed the 14-year-old girl with a hunting knife before attacking Kubitz.

Kubitz, stopping at the bakery for a cup of coffee, said he pulled Thomas off the girl, who has not been identified, and struggled with the suspect toward the door. Thomas then stabbed Kubitz a few times, he said, puncturing a lung and breaking his ribs.

Svallin then pulled Thomas off Kubitz. He later pointed Thomas out to police.

Chang saw the men fighting outside the bakery as he walked by. He went to separate the men, but by that time Thomas had fled the scene. After seeing the teenage victim, Chang applied pressure to her wounds to stop the bleeding and waited for the paramedics.

“As a teenager, she had an astonishing calm and courage in a terrifying life and death situation,” Chang said.

Thomas has been charged with two counts of attempted murder, one count of child endangerment and one count of assault with a deadly weapon. He remains in custody at the San Francisco County Jail and will appear in court Monday.

arocha@examiner.com

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